Quick Roundup 86

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Caroline Glick on Lebanon

If you haven't read Caroline Glick's most recent column, then let me tell you where to go!

Many international commentators who understand what a Hizbullah victory will mean for international security rightly argue that the international community today is repeating the mistakes of the 1930s, when it refused to contend with the growing dangers emanating from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

Here in Israel, the historical period that is being recalled with increasing frequency is the winter of 1973. Then, in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War, as Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan sought to place all the blame for Israel's refusal to prepare for Egypt's October 6 invasion, in spite of obvious signs that it was about to take place, on the IDF, demobilized IDF reservists, led by Captain (res.) Moti Ashkenazi, launched a national protest movement. Their demand for accountability forced Meir and Dayan to resign and set the conditions for the Likud's rise to power in 1977.

THERE IS a palpable sense in Israel that we are on the edge of a revolutionary moment. Our national leadership in the government, the IDF and the media has utterly failed us.

As we stand poised on the edge of an even larger war, the main question that hangs in the balance is what lessons the Israeli people will take from the current fiasco. Will we continue to believe their fictions, or will we find a way to abandon them and move on with leaders who understand that territory is vital, that the jihad is real, that Israel has a right to defensible borders, and that Israel is not to blame for our enemies' hatred?
I agree. If the Israeli leadership doesn't wake up, they deserve to be canned. (HT: TIA Daily)

Cuba: The Executive Summary

Val Prieto and his friends at Babalu Blog remain the most reliable source for news on Cuba. Yesterday, Prieto cut through the Communist and MSM (but I repeat myself) fog to create a list of what we know for certain about recent events in Cuba. Prieto also reproduces an entire column by Humberto Fontova (who , by the way, also once wrote a particularly good piece on Che Guevara).
The best guesses from the best sources, primarily the multinational staff of reporters and analysts of La Nueva Cuba, point to a possible power scuffle that has the regime very tense. "We're worried," said the head of Cuba's Conference of Catholic bishops, Jose Felix Perez Riera. "Things are calm on the surface for now. But we're still very worried."

Raul Castro heads Cuba's Armed Forces. Ricardo Alarcon is "president" of Cuba's "National Assembly." Signs point to some behind the scenes (granted, in Cuba everything's behind the scenes) scuffling between Alarcon and his gang, against Raul Castro and his henchmen.

In plain speak: the Communist geeks might be having it out with the Communist hoods to see who'll run Cuba. The groups overlap slightly. Not all the geeks are with Alarcon and not at all the hoods are with Raul. In June when Raul addressed a military audience during military maneuvers he wore a bulletproof vest under his shirt, proof he's not completely convinced of their loyalty. But rather than bore you with a list of three-word names that mean nothing I'll leave it at that. There's much speculation that the now famous "succession testament" of last Monday was authored -- not by Fidel at all -- but by Raul.

That Ricardo Alarcon's name (by most estimates Cuba's highest ranking civilian) was conspicuously absent from the document lends more credence to the theory of Raul's authorship. Here's proof that, regardless of what all those academic "experts" babble and scribble, the highest ranking civilian in Cuba has less governmental authority than a dog-catcher has in Miami. Cuba's military runs Cuba and has done so for years. If the term "military dictatorship" ever fit a Latin American nation, it's Cuba.

But I defy you to find the term in any mainstream media article on Cuba. I also defy you to find this term absent from any mainstream media article on Pinochet's Chile, which was overwhelmingly civilian and robustly free-enterprise. [bold added]
Read it all.

Kos: Kook Kingmaker?

Well. The loons at Daily Kos got their wish.

Ned Lamont, whom the great liberal echo chamber wanted to defeat Joe Lieberman in Connecticut, won the Democrat primary, but barely. I agree that this is the worst possible result for the Democrats.
Lieberman's 48% makes him the clear favorite in the three-way. [He will run as an independent. --ed] Republicans Chris Shays and Rob Simmons have received a boost in holding on in their vulnerable districts, two seats the Dems have to win if they hope to capture the House. And as much as mainstream Democrats may try to downplay this result as a Connecticut issue, the rejection of a three-term Senator who was the party's VP nominee only six years ago will have repercussions throughout the country and they don't help the Democratic Party.
The worst repercussion for the Dems is that they have become, once again, the Party of George McGovern. As Martin Peretz put it recently in The Wall Street Journal:
If Mr. Lieberman goes down, the thought-enforcers of the left will target other centrists as if the center was the locus of a terrible heresy, an emphasis on national strength. Of course, they cannot touch Hillary Clinton, who lists rightward and then leftward so dexterously that she eludes positioning. Not so Mr. Lieberman. He does not camouflage his opinions. He does not play for safety, which is why he is now unsafe.

Now Mr. Lamont's views are also not camouflaged. They are just simpleminded. Here, for instance, is his take on what should be done about Iran's nuclear-weapons venture: "We should work diplomatically and aggressively to give them reasons why they don't need to build a bomb, to give them incentives. We have to engage in very aggressive diplomacy. I'd like to bring in allies when we can. I'd like to use carrots as well as sticks to see if we can change the nature of the debate." Oh, I see. He thinks the problem is that they do not understand, and so we should explain things to them, and then they will do the right thing. It is a fortunate world that Mr. Lamont lives in, but it is not the real one. Anyway, this sort of plying is precisely what has been going on for years, and to no good effect. Mr. Lamont continues that "Lieberman is the one who keeps talking about keeping the military option on the table." And what is so plainly wrong with that? Would Mahmoud Ahmadinejad be more agreeable if he thought that we had disposed of the military option in favor of more country club behavior?
Hmmmm. RealClear Politics, linking to an article on the Connecticut primary by Perry Bacon, Jr., of Time Magazine (first link, this section) asks: "Netroots: New Power Center or Achilles Heel?" In answer to this question, recall what I said not too long ago about Markos "Kos" Zuniga: "[Daily Kos] is one bus driving itself off a cliff regardless of the fortunes of the Democratic Party, which has not, so far, fared too well when following [Moulitsos'] advice."

Power Center or Achilles Heel? Both.

Of course, continued or worsening Republican mismanagement of the war -- We are already basically taking Lamont's nostrums with regard to Iran. -- could blunt the effects of this leftward lurch. Stay tuned.

-- CAV

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